Author Topic: First upgrade advice needed  (Read 4630 times)

HookSetSteve

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First upgrade advice needed
« on: February 08, 2005, 06:29:18 PM »
OK here's the deal
It's tax time again and luckily for me I'm getting money back and have decided to spend some of it on my TJ
Right now it's all stock with 30" wranglers on alloy wheels
I'm looking for some advice on how best to spend some money on it
It is and will continue to be my daily driver so I guess what I want to do is make it more trail worthy while still looking decent and performing well on pavement
Feel free to toss out some ideas and estimated costs for me to consider for a first upgrade that I won't be dissapointed with ... for a while at least

Thanks for any help you can give a noob like me
Steve

Offline Rubi04TJ

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2005, 06:44:20 PM »
i would say spend what you can on recovery equipent and of course skid plates. I think alot of people (including myself) spend the money on the lift and then have no money for undercarraige protection. So things such as a transfercase skid plate and diff guards i would say are the most important.

For a lift we can probably peice something together for you. I myself have four RE 2inch Budget boost (similiar to pucks) that i will sell for 20 dollars. You can still use everything else on your jeep with these, shocks and all. Although it would be tight but it will work. To get a little more i would suggest a body lift, one inch max, with this setup you would be able to clear 33s and disconnect your front with the proper bumpstops.

If you have the money, a winch and bumpers might be up there on the list. although these items are the most expensive.

Anyways price list


Tow Hooks 20
tow strap 25
Tranny skid 350-500
Diff guards 100 a piece
Disconnects 100
Shocks(if you want) 100-200+
Winch 750-1000
bumpers 350-2000
then add tires, like i said you could clear 33s but a 31 would do fine, up to you..

That is my suggestion

Offline Rubi04TJ

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2005, 06:45:11 PM »
Detours and I are thinking alike

HookSetSteve

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2005, 06:56:07 PM »
Quote from: Detour
Recoverypoints, recovery gear & first aid.....a CB.

You could do a body lift....
Get some armor....(You never out grow that) :wink:
Disco's?...

How much do you think you'll have to play with? (aprox.) :roll:

Buy things you wont need to replace again when you lift...otherwords,
buy twice. :cry:


I have the tow hooks on the front that it came with and I'm thinking og getting the recovery point that will go in my hitch receiver on the rear I have the first aid kit and extingusher and a CB I will also pick up a strap but I'm not using tax money for that stuff

I think I would like to get a set of your rock kickers to put in place of the steps I have now

I should have a couple grand to play with but that doesn't mean I'm looking to spend all at once and who knows if I'm real nice to the wife maybe I can spend more (just need to make her realize we really don't need those "practical" things she thinks we should buy)

HookSetSteve

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2005, 07:18:15 PM »
Quote from: Detour
Wooooooooo :shock: , you still have the 'shovels' mounted ................
Yea, those need to go. :wink:
We can talk Drop-Kicks if you like, they're inexpensive, no holes to drill,
mount quick & easy, removable protection. :P
On top of that.......no one's broke a set or complained to date. (2/8/05) 8)


Those steps have turned out to be the biggest pain in my a$$ since the first snowfall

RJ

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2005, 07:45:20 PM »
You have a couple grand to spend?  Here's what I would do, which may be a little contrary to what others have mentioned...

-Budget Boost:  Rubicon Express has a kit with shocks for about $200.  If you dig a little, you might be able to find someone who's upgrading that will give/sell it to you cheep.  You can also just buy a set of 2" spacers for about $100.  You can use your stock shocks with that.

-Tires:  I'd say go for Goodyear MT/R's but they are a bit pricey.  A friend of mine just bought a set of Super Swamper TruXus tires and they work great!  He got 4 31's shipped for $500.  These you can use on your stock wheels.

-Lock Rite:  A locker will really help you out.  That little bit of extra traction will probably make the biggest difference in your trail performance.  You can pick up a Lock Rite for a Dana 35 for about $230 from Rocky Road Outfitters.

-Rock Sliders:  I know of two people on this site who make them and you can buy them from several aftermarket places as well.  They seem to run $200-300 for a set.  The best part of buying local is having them made to your specs and getting them installed.

Let's total all that up:

Lift $200
Tires $500
Locker $230
Sliders $250
Total: $1180

Save the rest for some gas to wheel your newly transformed Jeep.

HookSetSteve

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2005, 08:11:17 PM »
Keep the ideas comming I can almost see them on my jeep as I read them

And Debrode
Yours sounds good I'd like to have you show me some of the stuff I think I should atleast get some armor

Offline bigbadwhitey666

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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2005, 08:12:38 PM »
If You have a Big chunk of cash Like 2k or so .Buy a Lift .6" Full Traction .HAHA .Thats What I just did .Winch ,Tires ,Gears ,And Lockers .All the Small Stuff Could wait ,Buy the Big money Stuff while the cash is There. Just my 2 cents.
74 CJ5 304   4" lift 33s
86   CJ7   6cly  Satndard   BEater,Plow Truck.

RJ

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2005, 08:23:49 PM »
It's my opinion that going from stock to 35's is a BAD idea.  Especially if you are new to Jeeps.  You gain valuable wheeling experience learning how to get a stock (or nearly stock) Jeep through a trail.  You learn how to pick proper lines, how to keep tires on the ground, ect.  Someone with little or no experience can get in way over their heads in a Jeep with 35's that's all locked up.  I'm not saying you should go through 3 or 4 lifts and different tire sizes but start slow.  You don't need 35's, long arms and lockers to have fun!!!

Offline bigbadwhitey666

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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2005, 08:58:23 PM »
Sure You dont Need 35s But why buy 31s,33s,then 35s .Im just saying do it right the first time .This is My 3rd Jeep .had 33s on the first YJ, 35s on the next YJ ,and Now 35s On the TJ .Ive Been Wheeling for Years ,Had a Ton of Trucks ,Jeeps are By far the Best for Trails and Fun.
74 CJ5 304   4" lift 33s
86   CJ7   6cly  Satndard   BEater,Plow Truck.

Zaedock

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2005, 08:14:17 AM »
HookSetSteve,
        I have been involed with Baystate Jeepers (a Mass, stock-based club) for over 6 years (President '03-'04).  I have seen many ways to set your rig up for better trail performance.  While none of them are wrong, my personal order for better trail performance goes like this:

1) Traction. It is your best friend out on the trail!  
       a) Tires.  For your situation, a nice all terrain would be great for all around performance. I like BFG's.  A siped Mud terrain could work to, but wouldn't be as street friendly.  Also, AIR DOWN!!!  I can't stress enough how many people go to 18psi and call it airing down.  12-15psi is just about perfect for most radial tires.  Single digits for bias.  I have seen people try obstacles and not make it. We aired them down 4-5 more psi, and they drive right up!
       b) Locking or limited slip differential.  Get the power to the ground and help Tread Lightly!

2) Armor.  For TJ's, the first thing I would get would be a steering box skid plate(YJ's have the leaf spring for some protection), gas tank, and then belly (simply 'cause it ain't broke, so don't fix it...yet).

3) Lift kit.  Buy a nice name-brand kit that has everything you need.  I think just about everyone has tried piecing together a kit and it stinks!
Lift laws today are horrible (in Ma anyway!). If I were to build a new TJ, I would go with the Rancho "RockCrawler" 2 1/2" lift.  It ramps 1100 RTI, fits a nice 33" tire, and really makes the TJ perform.

4) Going too big, too fast.  I agree with RJ on this one.  Learn how to drive better. Get to know your vehicle.  It may cost more in the long run, but I believe it is worth it in driving experience.  Make the "big dogs" look silly!  I have seen a 2" lifted XJ with 31's go where bigger and "badder" Jeeps couldn't including me!!! (some of you know Pat Charron!).  She is by far, one of the best off road drivers I have seen.  


...Anyway, I hope this helps.  Remember, this is only my personal preference and as always, "results may vary".  

Good luck on your buildup and most impotant HAVE FUN.

Cheers,
Joe

RJ

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2005, 09:16:55 AM »
Going big too soon is like taking a high school baseball player and sending him to the majors.  He won't have the skills to compete.  It takes time (read YEARS) to learn skills and what your limits are.  It saddens me that new people get into Jeeps (or wheeling period) and think they need to dump a serious amount of coinage to keep up.  In my own experience, I went slow.  Mostly because I couldn't afford to go big all at once.  Here's how I went:

June 99-  Bought the TJ and it had P205-75-15's on it.
2001-  Bought a set of General MT's, 30x9.5-15.  Still stock height.
2002-  Bought the Rubicon Express 2" budget boost, a set of used 31"s and my current wheels, American Racing AR-23's.
2003-  Bought a set of Dunlop Rover MT's, 32x11.50-15
Summer 2003-  Regeared to 4.88's and locked the rear end.  Bought a set of Old Man Emu 2.5" springs to replace the BB
Late 2003- Sold the OME springs and bought a set of Rubicon Express 3.5" springs.  
2004-  Bought a set of Goodyear 33x12.5-15's.
2005-  Tube fendered the front end and got a set of rock sliders

Maybe I didn't do everything in the correct order (should have bought some armor first), but in each step of my buildup, I learned a little bit more and was able to get the Jeep on some harder trails each time.  Having open diffs really taught me alot about picking proper lines.  The other thing about doing it in stages is that you can SELL your stuff to somone else just starting out to help pay for the new stuff you want to buy.  Buying used is not a bad thing.  Okay, I think I've harped on this long enough!

HookSetSteve

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2005, 10:03:15 AM »
Thanks for all the ideas and please keep them comming
I do have a few more questions though
A few reccomended the buget boost of spacers and shocks and maybe a 1" body lift
I was wondering if it is better to go that way or would it be better to spend about 250.00 more and get a 3" lift with springs, swaybar disconnects, rear swaybar links, bump stop extensions, track bar relocation bracket, T/C lowering, and drop pitman arm
I'm not looking to go with any 6" lift and 35's for me that would just be crazy and expensive(although cool)
I am thinking of getting a locker and I really would like to get Dropkicks and some under armor
I'm just looking to be more trail worthy and still have a nice looking and good on-pavement daily driver
I am still open to all suggestions and I am considering buying both new and used to get this done
Again sorry for all the questions I don't mean to beat this topic to death but I really do appriciate all the advice

Steve

Offline Rubi04TJ

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« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2005, 11:32:48 AM »
a nice cheap way to get three inches without all the extra crap is to get the ZJ V8 front springs and put them in the front of your TJ and take the front springs from the TJ adn put them in the rear of your TJ.. Works and it is cheap. just buy shocks

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=34999

HookSetSteve

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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2005, 11:48:39 AM »
Another question
My Tj came with skidplates underneath including the gas tank
Are these good enough for now and maybe just get one for the steering box or do you reccomend any others

Offline Rubi04TJ

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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2005, 11:50:54 AM »
Those are all stock.. They are thin pieces of steel and will not do much for protection. The transfer case skid is fairly strong but it hangs low causeing loss of ground clearance.

I myself had a rock hit the bottom of my stock gas skid and blow the fuel pump out the top and lost gas all over the trail and had to drop the tank right on the trail, not fun

Offline cjshloman

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2005, 12:47:18 PM »
I clear 33's with a BDS 3" kit, they have the shocks disconnects and all the like.   I rub a little, think its just wheel BS, so Im gonna go a 1" BL too.  Cant afford to do the 6" kit yet, Bull.
My girlfriend can't fight, but you should see her box.....


'98 TJ, 3" BDS, 33" TSL Swamper's, lite body armour, plow.......stay tuned...Bull is coming back to the wheeling scene BITCHES!!!!

Zaedock

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2005, 01:17:52 PM »
Quote from: HookSetSteve
Another question
My Tj came with skidplates underneath including the gas tank
Are these good enough for now and maybe just get one for the steering box or do you reccomend any others


I would buy the steering box skid first, seeing as how it is right in front and has no skid.  

It's a toss between gas and belly.  The belly skid is pretty strong, but hangs low. The gas skid is pretty thin.  I don't have an aftermarket gas skid on my YJ. As such, I have removed several large "bumps" and am fabricating some sheet steel to go under the factory skid.  The slower you slide off of obstacles, the less damage there will be (although, sometimes it cant' be helped).

I still run my stock belly pan, although it's so mashed I had to lower it with 1" stainless bar stock to put it back in the factory position.  I can only imagine the newer TJ "shovel" will be taking quite a beating.

HookSetSteve

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2005, 06:58:18 PM »
Quote from: Detour
All good advice :D , are you automatic or standard? :roll:

Auto

HookSetSteve

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2005, 06:58:54 PM »
Quote from: Steve
D35 or D44 rear axle?

D35

Offline beaker

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2005, 12:55:48 AM »
A skid plates usefullness depends on how agressive a driver you are.  If you take it slow your less likely to need better ones.  

It's usually best not to hit rather than ride the skid plate.  

A lift is not easy to put in.  If it's not what you want to go to in the long run.  Make sure it's easy to swap in and back out.
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"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."  Benjamin Franklin

POSJEEP

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« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2005, 11:22:52 AM »
Sell it and buy a grand cherokee.......  :lol:

HookSetSteve

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2005, 07:47:09 PM »
Quote from: beaker

A lift is not easy to put in.  If it's not what you want to go to in the long run.  Make sure it's easy to swap in and back out.


That is why I'm kinda leaning towards the 3" and it won't be something I'll plan on taking back out any time soon

Offline cjshloman

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« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2005, 11:08:22 PM »
A guy on neow is doing a big BDS buy, just needs orders by fri...kind of late I know, sorry.  Bull.
My girlfriend can't fight, but you should see her box.....


'98 TJ, 3" BDS, 33" TSL Swamper's, lite body armour, plow.......stay tuned...Bull is coming back to the wheeling scene BITCHES!!!!

HookSetSteve

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First upgrade advice needed
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2005, 08:21:17 PM »
Will the Lock-Rightâ„¢ Locker, Dana M35 work on My TJ